Senate Bill 3384

An odd piece of news that I read today, surprisingly marked under Science and Technology.

Reported by TJD for GMAnetwork.com on January 29, 2013:

miriam-santiago

Photo courtesy of Inquirer.net

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill seeking to ban the use of gadgets inside movie theaters and similar show venues.

Senate Bill 3384 or the “Silent Mode Act” seeks to mandate persons inside movie theaters, concert halls, auditoriums and other indoor venues of public performances to turn off or place on vibrate or silent mode at all times their mobile telephones, two-way radios and other audio visual electronic devices.

The bill says audio-visual electronic devices shall include personal digital assistants (PDAs); video and still cameras; video game devices; computer tablets; portable media players; and other similar gadgets.

Any person who is found to have violated the measure shall be penalized with the following: a fine of 500 Pesos for the first offense; 1,000 Pesos for the second offense; and 3,000 Pesos for the third offense.

Under the measure, owners and employees of the establishments covered by the bill shall escort anyone caught violating its provisions. The cost of the ticket shall not be refunded to the violator.

Aside from this, the establishment shall also be mandated to remind the audience to turn off their gadgets or put them on silent mode before every performance.

If patrons wish to answer calls, they must leave the theater or move to an area where they cannot be heard.” 

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Now one of my pet peeves when watching a movie in a cinema is when someone’s cellphone rings during the movie. And to make the offense even worse is when that person will not answer it or turn it off immediately after it rings. They’ll just let it ring and ring, hoping it is someone else’s phone or that if they ignore it, it will eventually stop ringing. So I understand where Senator Santiago is coming from.

Personally, I’ll be happy that it’s one less distraction to deal with when going to a movie theatre. But I don’t know about cameras during live performances at concerts since I rarely, if ever, attend a concert. I don’t know how those people will feel about the law.

But do we really have to resort into creating a law just so that people will be disciplined into turning off their “mobile devices” when watching a movie? What does the creation or even the idea of having this law say about our culture as Filipinos?